Monday, November 28, 2022

Luxembourg Hereditary Grand Ducal Pair Expecting Second Child!

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie.
Photo (c) Maison Grand Ducal / Sophie Margue.

This morning the Grand Ducal Court is pleased to announce that Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg is expecting her second child. She and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, who wed in 2012, welcomed their first child and son, Prince Charles, in 2020. The hereditary grand ducal couple anticipate their new arrival to be born in April 2023. 

Our congratulations to the Grand Ducal House on this happy news!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Tatiana Constantinovna Pavlova (1933-2022), Second Cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh



On 22 October 2022 at Moscow, Tatiana Constantinovna Pavlova died at the age of eighty-nine. By virtue of her descent from Grand Duke Constantine Nichaelovich of Russia, Tatiana was a second cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021; né Prince of Greece and Denmark). 

Born on 29 January 1933 at Moscow, Tatiana Constantinovna Erchova was the only child and daughter of Constantin Alexandrovich Erchov (1902-1938), an engineer, and Princess Tatiana Petrovna Urusova (1903-1942), who wed in 1932. From her mother's first marriage to Alexander Ivanovich Berzing, Tatiana had an older half-sister, Lydia Alexandrovna Berzing (1924-2012). 

Tatiana Erchova attended the Moscow State University and pursued a career as a journalist. On 27 December 1958 at Moscow, Tatiana married Anatoly Ivanovich Volkov (b.1926-?). The couple had one son, Maxim Anatolievich Volkov (b.Moscow 17 December 1961; married Natalia Alexeievna Alexandrova). Tatiana and Anatoly's marriage ended in divorce. On 21 May 1966 at Moscow, Tatiana married Mikhail Borisovich Pavlov (b.1931-?). Tatiana is survived by her son, Maxim, and her grandchildren.

Tatiana's grandmother Marina Constantinovna Kniazeva.

Tatiana's paternal grandparents were Alexander Pavlovich Erchov and Marina Constantinovna Kniazeva. Her maternal grandparents were Prince Peter Dmitrievich Ouroussov (1869-1933) and Natalia Vladimirovna Istomina (1874-1963).

The Descent of Tatiana from the Russian Imperial Family

Grand Duke Constantine Nichaelovich of Russia (21 September 1827-25 January 1892) & Anna Vasilievna Kousnetzov (d.December 1922)
Marina Constantinovna Kniazev (8 December 1875-8 June 1941) m.24 April 1894 Alexander Pavlovich Erchov (6 July 1861-1920)
Constantine Alexandrovich Erchov (May 1902-executed August 1938) m.1932 Princess Tatiana Petrovna Ouroussova (1903-killed in action 8 March 1942)
Tatiana Constantinovna Erchova (1933-2022)

The Genealogical Ties between Tatiana and the Duke of Edinburgh

Grand Duke Constantine Nichaelovich of Russia -> Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia -> Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark -> Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Grand Duke Constantine Nichaelovich of Russia -> Marina Constantinovna Kniazeva -> Constantine Alexandrovich Erchov -> Tatiana Constantinovna Erchova

For more information about the life of Tatiana, you can visit this Russian-language post about her passing:
Кончина Татьяны Константиновны Павловой

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Princess Märtha Louise Ceases Royal Role; King Harald and Queen Sonja Support Her Decision


Yesterday, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway announced that she would no longer be carrying out official duties on behalf of the Royal House. Together with her fiancé Durek Verrett, Märtha Louise released a video statement on Instagram. This was later followed by a press conference given by Märtha Louise's parents, the King and Queen of Norway, in Oslo. 

Märtha Louise began: "Every time a person in the Royal Family gets engaged, it creates media storms, so also this time. From the last months' discussions in the media, my fiancé Durek Verrett and I have, together with the King and Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family, landed on some adjustments. I will step down from my official duties as patron for various organisations. My heart goes out to the organisations and the wonderful people I have met through representing them for several decades, and the important work they do. There will be someone else from the Royal Family continuing my patronages. I will continue the separation between my Princess title and my role as a businesswoman, where I only use Märtha Louise on social media, media productions and such, and Durek is following suite. First of all, I would like to emphasize that there has been no discord within the Royal Family during this process. We have embraced each other's opinions and views in an amicable fashion, with respect and love for one another. I would also like to clarify the fact, that when in the future we do get married, like my uncles Erling Lorentzen and Johan Ferner and my late husband Ari Behn, Durek will not receive a title. True to tradition, he will also not represent the Royal House, but will be present at family occasions and some occasional sport events."

Durek Verrett continued: "I have always wanted to support my fiancée Märtha Louise, and I want her to be happy. If her life has become difficult because of some of the things that I have done, then that was never my intention. The same goes for her parents, the King and Queen. I want them to be successful in the important roles that they have. I have, through the conversations with the family, learned a lot. I have gained a deeper understanding of the work of the Royal Family in Norway, and I respect their constitutional role. I know that some of the things I have said and done have been seen as controversial in Norway. Some have even argued that this has become a problem for the monarchy. I want to make it clear, that this was never my intention. I wish Märtha's family well, and I want to do my part to support them in their roles. At the same time, it is important for me to maintain my own integrity and to be true to myself. I like everyone else have a right to autonomy, to determine what I believe in, and to speak up about it. I hope what Märtha and I and the Royal Family have agreed on will create the space necessary for this balance to work and to be more robust. I also want to clarify that I am for the school of medicine, and always have been, because I have seen several occasions in my life where I have been saved by the school of medicine, and I have great respect for the institution and for the people working in the healthcare system. I honor and respect them for what they do. However, I do believe that we should always use all available resources for health on our planet. Not instead of, but in addition to the healthcare system."

Märtha Louise finished by saying: "I have a background from the healthcare system as a physiotherapist, and know the importance of scientifically proven healthcare. In addition to that, I think alternative medicine can be an important supplement to the school of medicine for many people. Acupuncture, yoga, meditations, crystals, and nature medicine can be a supplement in addition to the health system for better mental and physical health. And, it is, in the bridging of the two, like having acupuncture in maternity wards and hospitals, as many parts of the country have as an asset, or using horses as part of psychiatric treatment, like at Gaustad Hospital here in Oslo, that I want to continue like I have for the last twenty years. I hope these steps will lead to a calmer and more peaceful environment regarding my fiancé Durek Verrett and myself."

Later in the day, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway held a press conference to address their daughter's decision. The king opened by noting: "We have followed the discussion that has taken place in the press and among the people regarding Princess Märtha Louise's activities and mixing of tasks. We have now arrived at a solution which we hope and believe will give greater distance between the princess's activities and those of the royal house. We believe this will create a greater distance and are happy about it. We have arrived at an agreed proposal that we are all satisfied with."

The king said that his daughter withdrawing from royal duties was a loss to the Royal Family: "She is very good at it. And I know that those who have had close contact with her and for whom she has been a protector, they are very fond of her. So there are some who will be happy about this [decision], and some who will be disappointed."

Queen Sonja further elaborated: "She has also enjoyed it very much herself. I think she enjoyed these tasks. So it is a shame that you have to give it up, and I think she's sorry for that too."

When asked if the princess stepping away from royal duties was a loss for her, the king and queen responded: "Yes, and for us."

Queen Sonja spoke about Durek Verrett, the fiancé of Princess Märtha Louise: "Even if we disagree on certain things, we are happy with each other. And that is the most important thing. So I have the feeling that the family is now very close to each other in a new, nice way. We have gained a great understanding of each other. It is after all two cultures meeting. I have the feeling that Durek now understands more of what the monarchy and the royal house stand for in a country. At least, he says he has learned a lot. He is very nice and fun to be with." King Harald added: "It is nice to see that Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett are doing well together. You can see that, and during this time we have had the opportunity to get to know him better. He is a great guy and very fun to be with. He has a lot of humour, and we laugh a lot, even in this difficult time. I think both we and he have gained a greater understanding of what this is about, and we agree that we disagree. So we don't agree on everything. But we can live with our differences."

King Harald humourously and kindly noted that it should not be surprising that Mr Verrett, as an US citizen, did not fully understand the importance of a constitutional monarchy and how it functions, as the system is foreign to Americans. The king stated: "The Americans do not understand the significance of this [the monarchy] here. They don't. Americans have no idea what a monarchy is. So it's no wonder he doesn't understand."

The royal couple briefly addressed the issues surrounding Mr Verrett's and how he had come to understand the effect this would have on the Norwegian monarchy and its role if Princess Märtha Louise continued in her royal duties while also engaging in commercial activities alongside Mr Verrett. "He thought he could do what he wanted without it affecting us at all," said King Harald. Queen Sonja went on: "But he has understood that now, that we are together on this. That he must also take into account what we stand for."

King Harald and Queen Sonja were asked why Märtha Louise was allowed to keep the title of princess. The king replied: "She is our daughter, and she will continue to be. So she is Princess Märtha Louise."

The Norwegian text of the King and Queen of Norway's comments can be found at this link:

Kong Harald om Durek Verrett: – Han trodde han kunne gjøre hva han ville

Monday, November 7, 2022

New Photos of the Russian Imperial Couple With Their Son Alexander!


The happy parents with their son!
Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery / Konstantin Gribov.

The Russian Imperial House has released many new photos of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff, and little Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff.

Enchanted parents.
Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery / Konstantin Gribov.

The pictures were taken on the tenth day of Prince Alexander's life. The prince was born at Moscow Central Clinical Hospital on 21 October 2022. He is the first Romanoff to be born in the Russia in over a century, since the time of the Russian Empire, in fact.

Princess Victoria with her son Prince Alexander.
Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery / Konstantin Gribov.

Konstantin Gribov, a photographer for the Russian Imperial Chancellery, captured the sweet images of the family at their home in Moscow.

A well-deserved yawn - it is tough being a baby! - from the little prince.
Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery / Konstantin Gribov.

Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria chose to name their son in honour of Saint Alexander Nevsky.

Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery / Konstantin Gribov.

Prince Alexander is the first grandchild of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the Head of the Russian Imperial House. The proud grandmother was the person who announced his birth to the world.

Home at last.
A portrait of Alexander's great-grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir hangs on the wall, looking over his family.
Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery / Konstantin Gribov.

The parents of Princess Victoria, Ambassador Roberto Bettarini and Mrs Carla Cacciatore Bettarini, are currently visiting the new parents and their first grandchild.

This post only contains the images that were kindly shared with me by the prince's parents. For more pictures from the photoshoot, please visit these links:

May God Bless Prince Alexander!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia Pays Homage to Beloved Late Husband in Visit to Serbia


Princess Barbara at the grave of Prince Alexander.
Photo (c) Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia.
This photo cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the Princess.
Princess Barbara at the grave of Prince Alexander.
Photo (c) Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia.
This photo cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the Princess.

Last month, Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia traveled to Serbia in order visit the resting place of her husband, Prince Alexander. 

Photo (c) Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia.
This photo cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the Princess.
Princess Barbara in front of Opelanc.
Photo (c) Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia.
This photo cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the Princess.

After forty-two years of marriage, Princess Barbara was widowed when Prince Alexander, aged 91, died on 12 May 2016 in Paris. He was buried on 20 May 2016 at the Church of St George yard in Oplenac. The prince's funeral was officiated by Their Graces Bishop Jovan of Sumadija and Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand. Among those in attendance were Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, (the then) Hereditary Prince Peter (the godson of the late prince), Princess Linda and her son Prince Michael, Princess Barbara, Prince Michel, Prince Serge with his wife Princess Eleonora, Prince Dushan, Prince Eugen and Princess Maria Theresia of Liechtenstein, Prince Johannes of Liechtenstein, Princess Marie of Liechtenstein (by marriage Countess v.u.z. Trauttmansdorf-Weinsberg), Princess Sophie of Liechtesntein (by marriage Countess Hoyos), Count Hans-Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach, Hereditary Count Ignaz zu Toerring-Jettenbach, and Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of Republic of Serbia. A funeral mass was held on 20 June 2016 at the Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky in Paris.

Photo (c) Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia.
This photo cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the Princess.

Photo (c) Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia.
This photo cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the Princess.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Remarriage for the Duke de Noailles


The Duke and Duchess de Noailles, 2019.
Photo (c) Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly.

On 21 October 2022 at Paris, Hélie de Noailles, Duc de Noailles, married Madame Joëlle Chapelon.

Born on 16 July 1943 at Boulogne-Billancourt, Hélie Marie Auguste Jacques Bertrand Philippe de Noailles was the only child of François de Noailles, Duc de Noailles, (1905-2009) and Charlotte de Caumont La Force (1917-2002), who wed in 1936. 

Hélie and Nadège de Noailles, 2010.
Photo (c) Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images.

In 1972, Hélie de Noailles married the late Nadège Gonin (1945-2014). The Duke and Duchess de Noailles had three children: Julie (b.1972), Marie-Alicia (b.1975; married Nicolas Lhermitte), and Emannuel, Duke d'Ayen (b.1983; married Letizia Bemberg). 

Albanian Crown Prince Slams Xenophobic Rhetoric by Tory MP


On Monday, 31 October, James Daly, Conservative MP for Bury North, addressed the following question on the floor of the House of Commons to Home Secretary Suella Braverman:

"Mr Deputy Speaker, so far this year, 12,000 Albanians have entered the United Kingdom through small boat crossings of the Channel. 10,000 of those are adult single males. As Cmdr Dan O’Mahoney told the Home Affairs Select Committee, the main driver of that activity is the strength of organized Albanian criminal gangs in the North of France, and the transfer of that behavior to the United Kingdom, to get there with the determination for people to work on the black market. There is no reason for these people to be here. We should follow the route of other European countries and insure they are returned immediately to Albania." 

Yesterday, Tuesday, Crown Prince Leka of Albania responded to the MP's comments on Twitter:

"Disproportionate slander is purely xenophobic. The UK has a population of 67 million, with 6 million emigrants. 12 thousand Albanians is not an invasion. The failings of British law enforcement is not our responsibility. A vast number of Albanians coming to the UK are from the EU and not Albania. Stop demonizing us for your own internal political benefits!"
Source: Twitter

The British Home Secretary (who resigned recently under Prime Minister Truss and was reappointed by Prime Minister Sunak) has apparently made targeting Albanian refugees to the United Kingdom one of her issues of focus.

As part of his education, Crown Prince Leka attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and graduated from that institution in 2005. The crown prince has served as an advisor the the Albanian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior, as well as an advisor to the President. Among the guests at his wedding in 2016 were Prince and Princess Michael of Kent; Princess Michael of Kent is a cousin of the prince through his late grandmother, Queen Geraldine. Crown Prince Leka lives in Tirana with his wife, Crown Princess Elia, and their daughter Princess Geraldine. 

Why Suella Braverman Is Targeting Albanian Migrants Coming To The UK

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